Lindsay Mattison

Papa John’s Garlic Dipping Sauce is Hilariously Easy to Make at Home

Growing up, we never ordered Papa John's. My parents were from New York, so they insisted on ordering from a local restaurant that specialized in New York-style pizza instead of getting delivery pizza from national chains. When I went off to college, there was a Papa John's right next to my dorm room. I remember the first time I had their pizza, I wasn't wowed by the pizza itself, but I was completely enamored with the sauce. That buttery, garlicky dipping sauce was nothing short of magical, and I could have basically drank the entire cup. It converted me to a crust-eater!

I was equally shocked when I found out how easy it was to make a copycat Papa John's garlic dipping sauce. All you need is two ingredients and a microwave to make this dairy-free, gluten-free recipe. Now that I know how to make this sauce, I plan to eat it with everything: pizza, pasta, roasted vegetables, and more. The sky's the limit! 

What is Papa John's Garlic Dipping Sauce Made Of?

Papa John's Garlic Dipping Sauce

Lindsay D. Mattison

To develop our copycat recipe, we took to Papa John's website to see if they listed the ingredients of their signature garlic dipping sauce. There are a little over a dozen ingredients on the list, but most of them were familiar: They are the ingredients in margarine. So, when we zipped up those ingredients, we were left with just two, margarine and garlic powder. 

We picked up a Papa John's pizza so we could try their garlic sauce against our copycat to develop the perfect ratio. After several taste tests, we determined that 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder mixed into 1/2 cup margarine was the perfect blend. Margarine solidifies in the refrigerator, so you'll want to either buy a squeezable margarine (like Parkay) and let the sauce stay a little thick, or pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute to soften it up.

Does Papa John's Garlic Dipping Sauce Need to be Refrigerated?

Papa John's Garlic Dipping Sauce

Lindsay D. Mattison

It's best to refrigerate any leftover Papa John's garlic dipping sauce. Like most fat-based products, margarine can be left on the counter, but does go bad and storing it in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life. It can also separate into oil and water if it's kept in too-hot conditions, which ruins the visual effect. 

Most margarine lasts two to three months after opening, so we recommend storing garlic dipping sauce in an airtight container and using it within that time frame for best results. There are plenty of ways to use it up other than pizza crusts. Toss it with pasta noodles for a quick and easy shrimp scampi, or drizzle it over grilled vegetables like broccoli.

Can You Make Papa John's Dipping Sauce with Butter?

Papa John's Garlic Dipping Sauce

Lindsay D. Mattison

If you're opposed to using margarine (we might also be slightly depressed to learn that our favorite sauce is basically just margarine), feel free to use butter instead. Substitute 1/2 cup of melted butter for the margarine and dip away!

You can also make this dipping sauce with fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. Simply swap in one minced clove of garlic.

Copycat Papa John's Garlic Dipping Sauce Recipe

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 1 minute


  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the margarine and garlic powder. Microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the margarine has melted.
  • Stir to combine and serve immediately. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

READ MORE: How To Make Excellent Pizza On The Grill